We are a month away from the new year so as we sit down and reflect on what has happened during the year, it is important to start thinking about next year.
I was having a conversation with Mike, a medium business owner who told me this.
‘’When I started my business, I didn’t know the importance of setting business and staff goals. My employees did not understand my vision and it often frustrated me. Some didn’t understand their responsibilities. They felt overworked and burned out. They were stressed and it affected their health.
There was also a lot of conflicts, employee turnover and absenteeism. This is when I attended one of your training on performance management which helped me understand the importance of setting goals.
Now as we approach the end of every year, my team and I sit down and set the next year’s goals. Normally this happens after performance reviews. I find that it gives a clear picture of the business’s future which helps guide workers when doing their job.
I found employees to be more motivated, accountable, engaged, productive and it improved their collaboration and team spirit. It also gives me peace of mind. I can to easily track and evaluate performance and set the business for the year to enable maintain and maximize on profitability ‘’
Here are a few things I thought Mike might have considered before setting his staff goals;
1. Setting of Business Goals
This is important as it shows what is to be accomplished within a certain set period. It brings out the company’s bigger picture and provides clear outcomes of what the company wants to achieve. They establish the end goals that employees should work towards.
2. Setting Your KPIs
This is important for measuring goals and setting timelines. They help you know if you are on track to achieving the business goals. They also help align individual goals to company goals.
If your company goals are to increase a client base and increase revenue, then can to set different goals for individuals to ensure this succeeds.
They also help you review staff performance to see if the company goals are been achieved.
3. Communicating What has Worked or Not in the Past
A business owner has the history of the business and knows what has worked and failed in the past. Analyzing this history while considering new innovations is crucial. Consider communicating this to employees before setting individual goals.
When setting your team’s goals, they should be aligned with the company goals, their abilities, roles and responsibilities. Here is a guide to follow;
1. Set SMART Goals
Goals that are specific and clear about the objective and the results, measurable to help you track progress, achievable to ensure your staff attains them, relatable to ensure they align with your team’s skills and time-bound to ensure you see to deadlines are crucial.
They help to avoid disappointment and failure.
2. Consider Prioritizing Goals
For efficiency, setting timelines is important. Mike mentioned that he ensured that he chose goals with the highest priority then focused his staff’s effort on them. He also mentioned that sometimes, priorities changed mid-way and he ensured that they were aware of this and were able to be flexible.
3. Align Your Staff Goals to Company Goals
As a leader, you know what your vision for your business is thus it is important to tie it with your employee’s individual goals to ensure that they stay motivated to achieve them.
4. Align the Goals with Reward and Recognition
Tying goal achievement to reward and recognition ensures that staff feel valued thus improving their performance.
However, consider not setting unattainable goals and matching it with a reward as it could create a toxic work environment
5. Meet Staff to Track Goals and Give Feedback
It is important to review the performance of staff while referring to goals set. If there are team goals, review the team’s achievement and the individual contribution to the achievements.
It is of essence to give them feedback on areas to improve and the way forward.
However, there are times where you encounter employees who despite having clear goals, continue to perform poorly even after several follow-ups and warnings. Watch this video for tips on how to terminate an employee for poor performance when faced with such a situation.
Goal setting benefits both employees and employers by giving a clear focus and direction to all and motivating employees resulting in business success.
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